You might expect the editor-in-chief of the world's largest food magazine to have one of those over-the-top, expensive designer kitchens. (You know, the kind you don't feel comfortable cooking in?) But that's just not Catherine Cassidy. Sure, she's one of America's 50 Most Powerful People in Food, but this wife and mom of four (two daughters, one dog and a cat) is known—and loved—by her friends, family and readers for keeping it real.
So when Catherine and her husband, Steve, began their kitchen remodel last winter, she had a single goal in mind. "I was tired of the dark oak cabinets, dated counters and old vinyl floor," she says. "But most of all, I wanted an inviting spot, because this is where everyone ends up. We eat breakfast here. My daughters, Jess and Jackie, do homework here. And we even enjoy a casual Sunday dinner from time to time in here."
To achieve that welcoming feel, Catherine had to focus on priority number one: brightening the space.
"I knew I wanted lots of lights—under cabinets, over cabinets and everywhere in between," she says.
A few other tricks helped, too. A translucent glass mosaic backsplash and subtle pearl finish on the cabinetry bounce light around the room, while a window over the sink lets in natural sunlight and provides a perfect spot for the fresh herbs Catherine loves to use when cooking.
For her walls, Catherine chose a yellow-green that's both clean and bright in the morning but mellows to a light avocado when the sun sets. "I tried to pull in colors from the outside," she says. "And green was the way to go. I wanted to be bold."
Her kitchen also incorporates artwork—including a much-loved painting by her grandmother—which adds hue-happy vibes, personality and warmth.
A new peninsula that seats six has fast become the family's favorite spot to hang out. Built-in storage underneath hides cookware and cereal boxes in a hurry and offers a place to stash family photo albums, ready for reminiscing. "Sometimes, we sit here for hours, looking at old photos and laughing."
For more details, photos and product information
about this kitchen:
Photo Gallery of Catherine Cassidy's Kitchen >
3 Great Takeaways
Do Your Homework
Research new products. Instead of ceramic flooring, Catherine opted for Luxury Vinyl, which looks like the real deal at a fraction of the cost. "I grouted them for an authentic look," she says.
Let Color Be Your Guide
Pick a palette and use vivid pops of color from it throughout the room.
Ask for Help
Check with area stores. Most offer free design services. That's what Catherine did at Home Depot.
More from Catherine:
Blog: Behind the Scenes at Catherine's Photo Shoot >
Catherine Cassidy's 15 Favorite Recipes >
Have a Great Kitchen?
Send photos (including "before" shots if you have them) plus one or two family photos to firstname.lastname@example.org. Put "Kitchen" in the subject line. If featured, you'll get $250.